Gower, The Master Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

6/2/2020 9:48 PM

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0 wins / 0 losses


Notorious Marauder Exemplar



"He was slightly less unfun."




"Somehow there was comfort in coffee despite his misery; the only comfort in a black world." -- Hornblower in the West Indies


Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Having 3 Storygame(s) Featured Rated 98.7% of all Stories Given by BerkaZerka on 12/14/2019 - For an inspiring display of creativity ^v^ Given by EndMaster on 01/07/2020 - You may be fooling the rest, but I know you’re up to no good. Given by mizal on 10/11/2019 - For your exceptional games and articles, many forum contributions, and disturbing sweetness and light. (Sorry about McAllen, it wasn’t our idea either.) Given by Will11 on 10/12/2019 - For your excellent stories and many worthwhile contributions to the site :)


Featured Story Kelly Unicornstrider and Friends (1982-1985) Super Quiz

A comprehensive quiz + bonus fan faction about the the underrated cult classic show "Kelly Unicornstrider and Friends" (1982-1985). Questions range from really easy to really difficult.

Featured Story Private Game for Natalie

I think putting this on "publish" makes it so only we can see this. It's just for us, sweetie. I made it to celebrate our anniversary and remember some special intimate moments together over the years in an interesting way as a present for you.

I hope you love it, Natalie, as much as I love you!

(Of course if there's any admin looking at this, or if I messed up, don't read this, because it's got private things in it.)

Featured Story Sabbatical Report Presentation

This is my required report to the full faculty in accordance with the rules noted in the Faculty Handbook (version 15.1, as of October 2017)

Sixteen Words

"Personally I can only read 16 words in one go before words stop working," wrote Mizal.


This game has sixteen words per path.  Not counting "The End."  So you can play quickly.


When reviewing, please use precisely sixteen words.   That should be plenty for your suggestions and observations.


Note this challenge connected with this game:  Write the Last Page!

Articles Written

Basic Sentence Structure: Additive Sentences
Comma Use and Additive Sentences with lots of examples

Cumulative Sentences, Part 1
An introduction to the sophisticated and elegant cumulative sentence style.

Dialogue Punctuation
This is a brief discussion of how to punctuate dialogue in US and UK English. It also notes a few rules for quotation mark use in general.

Relative Sentences
A lecture on how to write relative sentences using restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.

Semicolons and Advanced Additive Sentences
This article explains how to use semicolons to create new types of additive sentences. It includes the plain semicolon and semicolons with transition words.

Understanding Style: The Sweet Style
An introduction to style, focusing on "sweet" style. How to recognize it, when to use it, and when to avoid it.

Recent Posts

June is Noob Threshing Month! on 6/1/2020 5:25:18 PM

I am really looking forward to the culling to come.

Gower's Office Hours on 5/27/2020 8:16:04 PM

Yes, adding "phrases" would be perfectly grammatical.  As far as the specifics of your Incomplete, I would direct you to the registrar, or your advisor, or one of the TAs, or the bursar, or the vice provost, or... (vague hand wave)

Gower's Office Hours on 5/27/2020 7:36:11 PM

OK, first let me take my glasses and tilt them slightly down my nose.  Then let me look at you over the top of them and steeple my hands.  This is not RPing on the forum.  This is real.  And this is serious.

We need to talk about quotations within quotations.  In US English, when you quote within a quotation, the internal quotation marks transform into single quotation marks.  This is crucial for clarity.


"like most of my clients, instead of saying any of the expected "how's the weather over there"'s and "rather hot, thank you"'s, your curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to interrogate me"


"like most of my clients, instead of saying any of the expected 'how's the weather over there's and 'rather hot, thank you's, your curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to interrogate me."

However, that is practically unreadable, because the single quotation marks look like possessive apostrophes--it looks like you are using the word "there's" and, weirdly, "you's" (which I believe is an acceptable personal pronoun in Chicago.)

Therefore, I would recommend omitting the plural entirely and saying

"Like most of my clients, instead of saying the expected 'how's the weather over there' and 'rather hot, thank you,' your curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to interrogate me."


Finally, if we wish to be sticklers for this sort of thing (we do) we will put a comma after "better of you" because the "and" is connecting two complete sentences.  This is called an additive sentence, in which two independent clauses (two complete sentences, essentially) are connected with a conjunction like "and."  Those sentences like to have commas before the "and."

Incidentally, wholly out of context, I find this a weird sentence, because "how's the weather" and "rather hot" sound like two parts of a conversation, a query and a response.  But it sounds like both of those are meant to be in the mouth/mind of "you."  Perhaps in context this is less odd.

I am afraid, however, that I cannot offer an extension at this time.  I will allow you to take an Incomplete.  You may complete the course over the summer with one of the *sniff* junior professors.

God save the... on 5/24/2020 2:09:32 PM

We do our very best to avoid making such comparisons. 





But we all know who Hufflepuff is.

God save the... on 5/22/2020 7:26:45 PM

At this point I'm happy if I don't see i'ts on a paper.

God save the... on 5/22/2020 6:22:38 PM

I don't disapprove of your commas.  I just raise one eyebrow slightly and say nothing.

Now, the oo_ word, that, I disapprove of.

Storygame opinions, :] on 5/8/2020 6:59:44 PM

You should just get used to "you."  It's fine, it's invisible when you use it in interactive fiction, and no player will mistake the "you" for themselves unless you actively encourage that sort of thing.

I'm reminded of my all-time favorite student comment on a paper that something in a poem "actually made me feel as if I was in the room eating soup with the grandma" or something like that.  That always makes me concerned for them.

Final Essay Time on 5/8/2020 6:54:56 PM

This is 100% real.  But it's an assignment for my actual English majors rather than people who just need a lit credit.

Final Essay Time on 5/8/2020 9:13:14 AM

I certainly hope that you have been keeping up with the reading this semester.  It is now time for your final essay.

Please choose one of the following prompts, and write a 6-8 page analysis.

a.  Read Thomas Berger's Arthur Rex; or C.S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength; or The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart. 

Then discuss how your chosen text rewrites, inscribes, or reevaluates Thomas Malory or Chretien de Troyes?  What is your text resisting, and what does it get obsessed with?  How does it fit into the narrative of Arthurian reinterpretation that we've been studying?  Contrast your chosen work thoroughly with at least one pre-1500 Arthurian text.  Please pay particular attention to how historical and cultural context affects Arthurian literature.

b.  Examine how the conflict between courtly love and prowess is worked out in one of the romances (either The Knight of the Cart or Yvain, the Knight of the Lion) we've read this semester.  Then compare "How Culhwch Won Olwen" (a tale that also includes both sexual pursuit and deeds of prowess.)  How would you describe the significant difference between the two genres (romance and heroic tale) in their handling of these combined themes?

c.  Write an analysis of a single Arthurian character who appears in multiple works we've read this semester and consider how the character is differently characterized in these works.  Try to choose a character who appears in multiple genres--heroic tale, romance, narrative poetry, novel.  One of these works *must* be pre-1500.  Gawain would be a great example; so would Guinevere, or even Arthur himself.  In your analysis, consider how and why differing genre requirements might lead to very different character presentations.



Interesting Comments 5 on 4/29/2020 8:49:14 AM

I wanted to it

Private Game for Natalie
Daved (Score of 1)
4/28/2020 12:01:01 PM